Cricket Betting: Test Day Three
The instruction to the batsmen following Strauss and Trott is likely to be to score runs as swiftly as they dare.
Richard O'Hagan takes apart day two of the Test Match between England and the West Indies, and looks ahead to day three.
The second day of the first Test between England and the West Indies contained everything that the hosts could have wished for. They polished off the West Indian innings without addition to the overnight score, then took full advantage of a bowling attack which looked well below Test class with the few decisions that there were going entirely in their favour.
It took just one ball for Stuart Broad to end Shivnarine Chanderpaul's hopes of a hundred at Lord's, his first ball of the day being edged to slip by Shannon Gabriel to wrap up the West Indies' first innings on 243, leaving the world's number one batsman high and dry on an unbeaten 87.
That gave Broad his seventh wicket and career best figures of 7-72. It also enabled him to join the rare club of players who feature on both the batting and bowling honours boards at the game's spiritual (if no longer actual) home.
The rest of the day was not quite as straightforward for the home side, but it was overwhelmingly theirs. The West Indies attack bowled well, with both Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach gaining enough lateral movement to induce the occasional false stroke, one of which accounted for Alastair Cook, dragging the ball back on to his stumps. However, there was little or no swing in evidence of the sort which troubled the West Indians on day one.
The big difference between the two sides, though, was in patience. Once Cook had departed captain Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott demonstrated cricket's version of the Chinese Water Torture, eating into the deficit in a slow, patient and languid fashion, each run a drop of water to the head of the Windies' toiling attack. At times it was pretty hard on the spectators, too, with the run rate almost dropping below two an over as Strauss ground his way to his 20th Test tonne.
Trott benefited from two outrageous pieces of good fortune, being adjudged not out following a vociferous appeal for leg before when the ball would have demolished his leg stump - because the inner half of the ball would have hit he survived after a referral on the 'umpire's call' rule - and then edging a catch to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin which, curiously, no West Indian appealed for.
Having ground the West Indian bowlers down, the challenge for England is to decide just when to declare. Ordinarily they would want to bat throughout the third day, but there was clear evidence of the pitch losing some of it's first day bounce and carry and they will be conscious of the fact that, in Chanderpaul, their opponents boast crickets finest limpet, the batsman who inexplicably manages to hang in there no matter how bad the conditions. Taking all of this in to consideration, England are likely to declare around the 450-run mark and it would be a surprise if they went beyond 500 on this wicket.
The loss of bounce has not been countered by an increase in turn, either. Even allowing for the fact that Marlon Samuels is barely a spinner of the ball at all, on the evidence of his brief spells there appears to be little in the pitch to offer assistance to Graeme Swann, meaning that England are going to have to get the Windies batting again before the pitch flattens out completely.
The instruction to the batsmen following Strauss and Trott is likely to be to score runs as swiftly as they dare. That will play into the hands of the likes of England's numbers six and seven, debutant Jonny Bairstow and wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Neither likes to hang around at the crease and both like to play their shots, so the odds of 2.2 on either making a fifty in this innings appear generous.